Home Again

It was great getting out for a week and meeting readers and seeing the booksellers who have become old friends after 15 books, but nothing beats the feeling of sleeping in your own bed! My Low Country book tour was lots of fun. After my signing at SEASIDE SISTERS on Tybee Island last Saturday, I moved into downtown Savannah. The gals who work at E. Shaver’s Booksellers always make me feel welcome. In fact, it’s usually my first stop when I drive down from Atlanta–if for no other reason than to use their bathroom. I always end up buying books they’re recommending. Last time around I bought a gorgeous cookbook written by local caterer Susan Mason. Called SUSAN MASON’S SILVER SERVICEit’s full of great Southern recipes and beautiful photographs. I’m a sucker for home decorating books, so I also bought Bunny Williams’s AN AFFAIR WITH A HOUSE. Our little bungalow will never look like this famous New York decorator’s country home, but that’s fine with me. This week Esther Shaver’s girls recommended a new biography of Alice Roosevelt Longworth. Called ALICE: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, from White House Princess to Washington Power Broker. So far it’s fascinating reading. Tuesday I made the hour drive to Beaufort, S.C. for a signing at Bay Street Trading Company. If you’ve never visited Beaufort, you simply must go. Bay Street Trading is a bookstore that concentrates on old-time service. You can sit in a rocking chair out front and page through a book before buying. And you never know who’ll be dropping by the store while you’re there. Pat Conroy and his author wife Cassandra King live on nearby Fripp Island, so last time I was there, I ran into Sandra who was stocking up on books before a trip.This time around, my friends Nancy Pate and her cousin Meg Herndon–two-thirds of the mystery-writing team Caroline Cousins, met me for lunch. My other favorite shop in Beaufort is right across the street. It’s called simply M and is full of stylish antiques and gifts. I bought a great necklace for my friend Shay’s Christmas gift. Then it was back across the bridge for another signing that night, at Books-A-Million. Before leaving Savannah on Wednesday, I made time to stop at
@Home Vintage General. Liz Demos’s combination antique shop and gift store in a beautiful old high-ceilinged storefront on Broughton Street is just my favorite shop ever. I bought a vintage step-stool to reach the upper shelves of my new kitchen cabinets, and the sweetest vintage-style Christmas apron. Liz suggested her favorite junking spots in Brunswick, which was my next book-signing spot, so off I went to Gloucester Street. I swept through Downtown Antiques and Victorian Place, but ran out of time before I got to Piddler’s, which is right across the street. I got some great art for Maisy’s Daisy, and managed to pick up some stuff for moi . Like a vintage mercury glass vase that almost matches one I already own–for the low, low price of $12, and a Jadeite batter bowl (ok, there’s a chip on the spout–who cares?) for $18. I spent so much time junking I had to speed over the bridge to St. Simon’s Island for my last signing at G.J. Ford’s Books. Owner Mary Jane at Ford’s is such a wonderful person, signing at her store is like stopping by an old girlfriend’s house for a Diet Coke and some gossip. She even had chocolate-covered cream puffs and Christmas cookies for the event! I left behind autographed copies of BLUE CHRISTMASat every bookstore, so go now and buy ’em up!